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Please advise: Contractor`s paperwork

#1 Please advise: Contractor`s paperwork
10/06/2003 00:00


Working freelance, one of my clients decided to involve me less into client delivery on a project they own, as the project imploded.

Consequently, the number of my billable hours/ days is well below contract. Hence two questions:

1) Can I invoice according to contract, and would you recommend it? 2) Which number should I use, lower, upper value or number in between: we signed, say, 6 months x 5-7 days/ months = 30-42 days total.

Thanks in advance. A quick response would be much appreciated.

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#2 Re: Please advise: Contractor`s paperwork
11/06/2003 00:00


Would suggest that it depends on a couple of criteria;

1. How likely are they to pay you full billing days in any case. Would it cause a problem to you client if you bill at 30 days? (How large is the client organisation for example?) - Might you end up with nothing except a lengthy battle if you push your luck?

2. Do you plan / is it forseeable that you can win future business with this firm? Billing at the used days rate under an agreement to take on another project may be a way of getting further work?

3. How involved in the project(s) is the person who signs off the invoice? i.e would they really know anyway? How tight a control of billable days does the client keep? How much of an investigation is likely to ensue? A 42 day bill might not be questioned?

4. Were the circumstances of project implosion clearly outside of your control? If so I would recommend that you pursue the 30 days.

I would certainly aim to recover 30 days as the minimum contracted provision, either by payment in full or a lucrative future project that allows you to write-off the loss.

You might have the option to bill at 30 days, but allow the client to carry over the unused days to be used within the financial year subject to notice and agreement etc. etc. This might get you the cash now and let you have the argument later in the year - if they even remember (again depends on how large the client organisation is)

Good luck in any case and I hope you reach an acceptable conclusion.


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#3 Re: Please advise: Contractor`s paperwork
11/06/2003 00:00

Gene Drumm

Just as there is scope expansion, so is there scope shrinkage. You bill for what you did, unless you had a cancellation clause in the original contract. Meanwhile, you should consider why the client reduced scope: lack of perceived value? lack of commitment? over-estimation to begin with? Whatever the answer, it will come back to some problems with project/client management that you should address before your next project.

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#4 Re: Please advise: Contractor`s paperwork
12/06/2003 00:00


Subject to what the contract specifically says, I think you should bill for the full shortfall MINUS any days you can sell elsewhere, up to a maximum of sixty days. The logic is this. What you sell is your time, so holding over a charge against future work from the same organisation is income denied. If the project stops, you may not be able to walk straight into another job, but within sixty days you should be able to find something. If not, that is hardly your client's fault. If the work is exceptional - for example you normally do long term work which involves relocation, then position may be different. If on the other hand you do take something immediately, it is not fair that you gain by the cancellation. have you tried talking to the client, by the way?

I am ethically opposed to the suggestions that you do things (bill, rebill) and hope the client doesn't notice becasue they are too large or disorganised. These are not the standards which bring the consulting profession any credit whatsoever....

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#5 Re: Please advise: Contractor`s paperwork
12/06/2003 00:00


The UK IMC has Ethical Guidelines incorporated in two principles - Transparency and Vulnerability. I suggest you look at the IMC website and use the testing questions attached to each principle to help you determine your course of action.

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